Update: Since this piece was published, Sephora committed to the 15 Percent Pledge and Carly Cushnie's brand Cushnie closed.
This story was originally published on June 1, 2020.
The fashion industry has a long history of exploiting Black creatives — and it’s not a problem that only exists in the past. While some of today’s most prominent fashion designers are Black — including Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss, Aurora James of Brother Vellies, Grace Wales Bonner of Wales Bonner, and Christopher John Rogers — they don't always have the same support. As James noted in a May Instagram post, it is imperative for both long-established brands and everyday consumers to do the work of helping Black-owned businesses. James called for brands like Net-A-Porter, Target, Whole Foods, Sephora, and Saks Fifth Avenue to commit to buying 15% of their products from Black-owned businesses, explaining that companies of this magnitude have the power to offset existing racial disparities — they just have to use it.
As important as it is for corporations to support and encourage Black-owned businesses, it’s just as crucial that we as consumers also uplift the Black fashion community.
Ahead, we’re helping you put your money where your supportive Instagram post is, by highlighting Black-owned businesses where we love to shop and think you should, too.